Hi everyone, my name is jb3 and my cannabis usage is out of control, again. I'm 41, and I've been using since I was 19. Most of that time, I was a sporadic user, but usually not by choice. My friends and I never had any good connections, so I had periods where I would go months between bags. When I had a bag, I smoked everyday.
In 2001, after a bad mushroom trip, I decided to get completely clean. I blamed my lack of achievement and unhappiness on the drugs. For 4.5 years I didn't use pot, alcohol or tobacco (or any other substances). I ditched all my old friends to get rid of temptation, and started building a new life. On paper, things seemed to go well. I went to grad school in order to start a new career, and ended up getting a great job. I ran a marathon, got married and made new friends.
But all was not well. For ten years I had been off and on various psychiatric medications for depression. During my sobriety, even though I had achieved a lot (for me), I was not happy. On a scale of -10 to +10 on a mood scale, I usually felt -1. And where in the past I would obsess about drugs, I now focused that energy on sex. I spent all my time plotting various affairs with inappropriate women. I guess I was lucky that I was never able to pull it off, because I'm sure I would now be ashamed of my actions.
Anyway, after 4.5 years clean, I was feeling pretty down. My mom died, I was laid off from work, and I failed miserably at starting my own business. I fell out with my new friends and felt pretty lonely. So one day, I called my old best-friend after a few years not seeing him, went over to his house and got high.
Instantly, I felt like I had found what was missing from my life. If I had smoked during that time, maybe my work would have been more creative, maybe I would have been more ambitious, maybe I would have been...happier. I started to think of my period of sobriety as the "lost years". I convinced myself a life with the extreme highs of the drug lifestyle was worth the inevitable lows. My depression was a lot easier when sober, but I never felt "really good". I came to think that I never really had a problem with pot; it was other people with their misguided morality and their laws that made me feel guilty about using. And then there was the bipolar diagnosis.
What a revelation! For the first time, my life started to make sense. I could now clearly see periods of depression and mania dating back to puberty. Realizing there were many times I was depressed or manic, and not using, I stopped blaming drugs. In the future, I would be prepared for the ups and downs. I went online to research the disorder and found that most of the literature was not keen on cannabis. I ignored what I didn't want to hear, and focused on the fact that no one could prove cannabis caused mental illness. I even found articles and studies that hypothesized pot might help alleviate symptoms of depression. That seemed to be my experience anyway.
Not long after that, I got my first good connection, and I had pot almost anytime I wanted it. I started using a vaporizer, and that made it easy to use all day without the telltale smoke and smell. I was also a new father, and I stayed at home to watch my son while my wife worked. The pot gave me the energy to keep going when I felt like going into my room and sleeping all day. It wasn't long before I started growing.
And it wasn't long before cracks started showing in the foundation of my new weed-positive lifestyle. Because vaporizing is slower than smoking, I soon found myself spending 4-6 hours a day just getting high, ignoring childcare, housework, family. The weed brought on mania, and I was soon romantically pursuing two of my female neighbors (a very delusional time to say the least). I had a psychotic breakdown brought on by lack of sleep and some very strong weed. Pot was definitely a problem, or was it...
Obviously it was, but I kept using more and more. It's now been three years of heavy daily use. Most nights I go to bed feeling guilty/depressed/anxious. I swear to quit the next day, but the vaporizer is usually on withing 10 minutes of waking, and my son is in front of the TV for 1.5 hours while I get high. If I am in the process of getting high, and he or my wife want my attention for even a minute, I get extremely irritable and nasty.
Looking back on the past three years, I am so ashamed. I've spent way more time getting high than I have with my own son. All day long, pot is the only thing I think about. Right after finishing, I start planning the next time I will use (usually 3-4 hours later), and hoping that it will be a better high than the one I just achieved. I scour the web, trying to find the best strains at the dispensaries. Money is just flying out of my pocket, and my wife is getting suspicious.
I have got to stop, and that's why I am here.
Yesterday, I woke up intending to quit. I've seen this site before, but last night was the first time I really dug in and started reading. It wasn't long before I noticed my defenses coming up, and I was getting kind of angry at people for writing things that didn't give me an excuse to dig into that OG Kush I've got lying around. So I kept reading, and seized on the fact that many people here were sober, but still experiencing depression. That, combined with all the desperately miserable people on the mental health forum I go to, gave me an opening, and my resolve to quit vanished. I had only made it 21 hours. After a few good laughs watching a movie, I went to bed and the mental torture began.
So here I am again the next day. First thing I did after waking was get back on the forum and read more. Now I'm feeling really ready to quit. I want to be happier, not just for me, but for the people in my life. I've never been sober and completely compliant with my psych meds, so that is my next step. Thanks for reading, and thanks to all the people whose writing helped me make up my mind.
Today is Day One.